Perplexing Hens

KCHenlover65

In the Brooder
Dec 8, 2020
30
37
46
Hi guys, for about a week I've had a hen setting on some eggs. Once she started setting my egg production went from 12 or 13 a day to 4 or 5 a day. The hen is quite large either australorp or jersey giant, so she can accommodate lots of eggs. I went out a few days ago and found one of my Brahma hens on the nest, then the black hen was there. This morning i found the nest with noone. There are at least 30 eggs there. As i looked the Brahma hen Elsa climbed on and began pulling all the eggs under her. Ahe managed to get every one covered, which was an amazing feat. Mu question is, is it normal for 2 or more hens to tag team a nest to collectively hatch them? Its fascinating but really awesome to watch.
 

3KillerBs

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12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
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I have heard of hens co-brooding, but it reputedly rarely works out.

Also, if they're collecting all the new eggs you end up with a staggered hatch, which also causes problems because the hens will either take the first hatchlings and abandon the rest of the eggs or neglect the early hatchlings while sitting on the later eggs.

You can get good advice on managing your broodies in the Incubating and Hatching Eggs section of the forums.
 

KCHenlover65

In the Brooder
Dec 8, 2020
30
37
46
I have heard of hens co-brooding, but it reputedly rarely works out.

Also, if they're collecting all the new eggs you end up with a staggered hatch, which also causes problems because the hens will either take the first hatchlings and abandon the rest of the eggs or neglect the early hatchlings while sitting on the later eggs.

You can get good advice on managing your broodies in the Incubating and Hatching Eggs section of the forums.
I prefer to have the hens hatch out and care for the chicks, but am not opposed to raising them in the house. Or incubating eggs inside. I guess we'll see what happens around Christmas, lol. Whatever happens i am and will continue to keep a close watch over them.
 

KCHenlover65

In the Brooder
Dec 8, 2020
30
37
46
I have heard of hens co-brooding, but it reputedly rarely works out.

Also, if they're collecting all the new eggs you end up with a staggered hatch, which also causes problems because the hens will either take the first hatchlings and abandon the rest of the eggs or neglect the early hatchlings while sitting on the later eggs.

You can get good advice on managing your broodies in the Incubating and Hatching Eggs section of the forums.
Is it possible to take the eggs from the nest, if she abandons them for the hatchlings, and incubate them in the incubator?
 

3KillerBs

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North Carolina Sandhills
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Is it possible to take the eggs from the nest, if she abandons them for the hatchlings, and incubate them in the incubator?

That's a question to ask on the Incubating and Hatching Eggs section. :)

My in-town flock didn't have room to raise chicks so I took the eggs away from my broody. Or, at least, I *thought* I did. Then she came out one morning with a little, yellow puffball following her. She must have had that egg up under her wing when I was trying to take the eggs away.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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There are at least 30 eggs there.
Main thing here is that you should mark the eggs you want to hatch when hen first starts setting, then daily remove any others laid. Might want to candle now and mark, then remove some of the eggs..and continue to do taht daily.

Is it possible to take the eggs from the nest, if she abandons them for the hatchlings, and incubate them in the incubator?
Yes.
Still might be dealing with a staggered hatch.
 

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